From: Wes C. Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Mar 11 1996 - 09:08:19 EST
Summary: The LXX copies in pre-Christian times retained the divine name.
The evidence is that the substitution of YHWH for Kyrios in LXX copies began
after the first century C.E. (or perhaps late first century).
>> Thanks for your posting on the tetragramaton. I had just finished teaching a
course on it at the Lay Acadamy of Theology at University Lutheran Chaple in
Minneapolis when I read your posting. You mentioned other examples of the
tetragramaton in various LXX fragments and papyri. I would much appriciate any
info. you would care to send.
Also, I found the following internet site of interest. It has a digitized photo
of a papyrus document (in Hebrew) dated in the Herodian period (1st cent BCE -
1st cent CE) containing the tetragrammaton. You can plainly see how they wrote
the tetragrammaton in the ancient characters.
Over the past several decades many fragments of ancient Greek versions of the
Hebrew Scriptures have been discovered wherein the divine name was found
written, usually in Hebrew letters. This indicates that the divine name was used
in Greek versions until well into the ninth century C.E. Here are ten
manuscripts that contain the divine name, along with pertinent information.
(I put the original post at the end in the longer version)
(2) LXXVTS 10a renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient
Hebrew characters in the following places: Jon 4:2; Mic 1:1, 3; Mic 4:4, 5, 7;
Mic 5:4, 4; Hab 2:14, 16, 20; Hab 3:9; Zep 1:3, 14; Zep 2:10; Zec 1:3, 3, 4; Zec
3:5, 6, 7. This leather scroll, found in the Judean desert in a cave in Na hal
Hever, was dated to the end of the first century C.E. The fragments of this
scroll were published in Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, Vol. X, Leiden, 1963,
(3) LXXIEJ 12 renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient
Hebrew characters in Jon 3:3. This shred of parchment, found in the Judean
desert in a cave in Nahal Hever, was dated to the end of the first century C.E.
It was published in Israel Exploration Journal, Vol. 12, 1962, p. 203.
(4) LXXVTS 10b renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient
Hebrew characters (</0>) in the following places: Zec 8:20; 9:1, 1, 4. This
parchment scroll, found in the Judean desert in a cave in Na hal Hever, was
dated to the middle of the first century C.E. It was published in Supplements to
Vetus Testamentum, Vol. X, 1963, p. 178.
(5) 4Q LXX Levb renders the divine name in Greek letters <1> (IAO) in Le 3:12;
4:27. This papyrus manuscript, found in Qumran Cave 4, was dated to the first
century B.C.E. A preliminary report of this manuscript was presented in
Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, Vol. IV, 1957, p. 157.
(6) LXXP. Oxy. VII.1007 renders the divine name by abbreviating the
Tetragrammaton in the form of a double Yohdh in Ge 2:8, 18. This vellum leaf,
dated to the third century C.E., was published in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Part
VII, edited with translations and notes by Arthur S. Hunt, London, 1910, pp. 1,
(7) AqBurkitt renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient
Hebrew characters (<45>) in the following places: 1Ki 20:13, 13, 14; 2Ki 23:12,
16, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27. These fragments of the Greek text of the version of
Aquila were published by F. Crawford Burkitt in his work Fragments of the Books
of Kings According to the Translation of Aquila, Cambridge, 1898, pp. 3-8. These
palimpsest fragments of the books of Kings were found in the synagogue genizah
in Cairo, Egypt. They were dated to the end of the fifth century or the
beginning of the sixth century C.E.
(8) AqTaylor renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient
Hebrew characters in the following places: Ps 91:2, 9; Ps 92:1, 4, 5, 8, 9; Ps
96:7, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13; Ps 97:1, 5, 9, 10, 12; Ps 102:15, 16, 19, 21; Ps 103:1,
2, 6, 8. These fragments of the Greek text of the version of Aquila were
published by C. Taylor in his work Hebrew-Greek Cairo Genizah Palimpsests,
Cambridge, 1900, pp. 54-65. These fragments were dated after the middle of the
fifth century C.E., but not later than the beginning of the sixth century C.E.
(9) SymP. Vindob. G. 39777 renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written
in archaic Hebrew characters (<89> or <:;>) in the following places: Ps 69:13,
30, 31. This fragment of a parchment roll with part of Ps 69 in Symmachus (68 in
LXX), kept in the Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, was dated to the
third or fourth century C.E. It was published by Dr. Carl Wessely in Studien zur
Palaeographie und Papyruskunde, Vol. XI., Leipzig, 1911, p. 171.
(10) Ambrosian O 39 sup. renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written
in square Hebrew characters in all five columns in the following places: Ps
18:30, 31, 41, 46; Ps 28:6, 7, 8; Ps 29:1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3; Ps 30:1, 2, 4, 7, 8,
10, 10, 12; Ps 31:1, 5, 6, 9, 21, 23, 23, 24; Ps 32:10, 11; Ps 35:1, 22, 24, 27;
Ps 36:Sup, 5; Ps 46:7, 8, 11; Ps 89:49 (in columns 1, 2 and 4), Ps 89: 51, 52.
This codex, dated to the end of the ninth century C.E., has five columns. The
first column contains a transliteration of the Hebrew text into Greek, the
second column has the Greek version of Aquila, the third column has the Greek
version of Symmachus, the fourth column contains the LXX and the fifth column
contains the Greek version of Quinta. A facsimile edition of this palimpsest,
together with a transcript of the text, was published in Rome in 1958 by
Giovanni Mercati under the title Psalterii Hexapli Reliquiae . . . Pars prima.
Codex Rescriptus Bybliothecae Ambrosianae O 39 sup. Phototypice Expressus et
These ten manuscript fragments indicate that the translators of the Hebrew text
into Greek used the divine name where it occurred in the Hebrew text. Moreover,
the occurrence of the Tetragrammaton in Zec 9:4 corroborates the claim that the
Jewish Sopherim replaced the Tetragrammaton with 'Adho.nai' (Sovereign Lord) in
the Hebrew text in 134 places.
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